Top 10 tallest towers in the region

2 October 2023


> This package also includes: Saudi’s Jeddah Tower reaches for new heights

1. Burj Khalifa, UAE

The construction of the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, began in 2006 and reached its pinnacle in 2009.

The 829.8-metre-tall tower was developed by Dubai’s Emaar Properties and designed by US-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Construction was led by a consortium of South Korea’s Samsung C&T, the local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct and the local Arabtec Construction. The $875m main construction contract was awarded in December 2004.

The 163-storey tower took 22 million man-hours to build. Overall, the project cost about $1.5bn to complete. 

2. Mecca Royal Clock Tower, Saudi Arabia

The 601-metre-tall Mecca Royal Clock Tower is the landmark feature of the Abraj al-Bayt complex.

The development comprises seven towers overlooking the holy site of Kaaba, with a total built-up area of more than 1.4 million square metres and 15,000 apartments.

Saudi Binladin Group was the main contractor for the project.

The $800m contract for the clock tower was awarded in 2003 and the complex completed in 2012.

3. Marina 101, UAE

Marina 101 is the second-tallest building in Dubai.

Construction began in 2007 when Turkish contractor TAV was awarded the estimated AED800m ($218m) main contract.

The project involved building a 101-floor tower with a height of 425 metres and a total built-up area of 144,000 sq m.

The project has witnessed several setbacks over the years and remains unoccupied. The construction works were partially completed in 2017.

4. Princess Tower, UAE

Princess Tower is the second-tallest residential building in the world.

The 107-storey tower stands 413 metres tall and is located in Dubai Marina.

The project was announced in 2005 and the foundation works were completed in 2007.

The main contractor for the project was the Lebanese Arabian Construction Company.

The Princess Tower was the world’s tallest residential building from 2012 to 2015, when it was overtaken by 432 Park Avenue in New York City.

5. Al-Hamra Tower, Kuwait

The 80-floor Al-Hamra Tower is the tallest building in Kuwait and the 36th tallest in the world, at 412 metres. It was built by the local Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading Company. Construction works started in 2005 and were completed in 2011. The project was designed by US-based architectural firms Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Callison and the local Al-Jazirah Engineers & Consultants. 

6. 23 Marina, UAE

The 392-metre-tall 23 Marina is the fourth-tallest building in the UAE and the 40th tallest in the world. Dubai Civil Engineering constructed the 88-floor tower. The construction works started in 2005 and the project was completed in 2012. US-based KEO International and Indian Architect Hafeez Contractor designed the tower. 

Jeddah Tower restart is watershed moment

7. PIF Tower, Saudi Arabia

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) Tower is located within Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District. US-based HOK Architects, Canadian WSP, Hyder Consulting and the local Omrania Associates designed the 385-metre-tall, 80-storey tower. The construction works began in 2009 and were finally completed in 2022. Saudi Binladin Group was the main project contractor.

8. Iconic Tower, Egypt

The 385-metre-tall Iconic Tower is the centrepiece among the 20 buildings of the Central Business District in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital. The construction of this 80-storey tower started in 2019 when China State Construction Engineering Corporation was appointed as the main contractor. The construction works on Africa’s tallest skyscraper were completed in 2022. Lebanese engineering company Dar al-Handasah was the project consultant. 

9. Burj Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE

Completed in 2014, Abu Dhabi’s tallest building measures 381 metres and consists of 88 floors. The tower, part of the Abu Dhabi World Trade Centre, was announced in 2004. The construction works started in 2007 under the government’s redevelopment plan. The consultants involved in the development included Arup, Mott MacDonald, Foster & Partners, AtkinsRealis and Callison. Lebanese contractor Arabian Construction Company undertook the construction works.

10. Elite Residence, UAE

Dubai Marina’s Elite Residence, a 91-storey residential building, is the sixth-tallest building in the UAE. The 380-metre-tall tower was announced in 2006 and designed by Lebanese Khatib & Alami. The construction works began in 2007 when Arabian Construction Company was awarded the main construction contract. The tower has been operational since 2012.


GCC countries’ quest to build tall towers is not over yet. Several upcoming developments are likely to overthrow some of the tall towers on our list. These schemes include:

  • The North Pole, 2kms (Saudi Arabia)
  • Jeddah Tower, 1km (Saudi Arabia)
  • Azizi Entisar Tower, 550+ metres (UAE)
  • Pentominium Tower, 516 metres (UAE)
  • Burj Binghatti, 500+ metres (UAE)

Tallest towers in the world

Jeddah Tower image (top): Jeddah Economic Company
Yasir Iqbal
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